1579
Why Down syndrome in Iceland has almost disappeared - CBS News
"It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling," he said. "And I don't think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. … You're having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way."

Stefansson noted, "I don't think there's anything wrong with aspiring to have healthy children, but how far we should go in seeking those goals is a fairly complicated decision."
DS  genetics  prenatal_testing 
8 days ago
Our Moloch
Gary Wills on gun culture
16 days ago
Oakeshott on education and culture – Snakes and Ladders
A culture, particularly one such as ours, is a continuity of feelings, perceptions, ideas, engagements, attitudes and so forth, pulling in different directions, often critical of one another and contingently related to one another so as to compose not a doctrine, but what I shall call a conversational encounter.
ayjay  history  culture 
21 days ago
Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Alternatives to Despair - The New York Times
Trump’s campaign used race more cynically and divisively than any in recent memory: He race-baited with birtherism, stoked white-identitarian sentiments and winked at white supremacists and anti-Semites. But while racialist and racist gestures were part of his appeal, they were far from the only forces that persuaded people to cast votes for him. So did his distinctive (for the G.O.P.) economic populism, the overreaching social liberalism of the late-Obama-era Democratic Party, the long shadows of the Iraq War and the financial crisis, gender politics and secularization and the opioid crisis and reality television and much, much more. Trump contained multitudes; so did his support; so — crucially — must any effective political adaptation or response.
race  trump  politics 
4 weeks ago
What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics - The Atlantic
When you construct an entire teleology on one cause—even a cause as powerful and abiding as white racism—you face the temptation to leave out anything that complicates the thesis. So Coates minimizes sexism—Trump’s disgusting language and the visceral hatred of many of his supporters for Hillary Clinton—background noise. He downplays xenophobia, even though foreigners were far more often the objects of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policy proposals than black Americans. (Of all his insults, the only one Trump felt obliged to withdraw was his original foray into birtherism.) Coates doesn’t try to explain why, at one point in the campaign, a plurality of Republicans supported Ben Carson over the other nine candidates, all white. He omits the weird statistic that slightly more black and Latino voters and slightly fewer whites went for Trump than for Mitt Romney. He doesn’t even mention the estimated eight and a half million Americans who voted for President Obama and then for Trump—even though they made the difference. No need to track the descending nihilism of the Republican Party. The urban-rural divide is a sham.
race  trump 
4 weeks ago
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946)
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery: the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged:
writing  politics 
5 weeks ago
How Intellectuals Create a Public - The Chronicle of Higher Education
The reason for this has less do with the elitism of the intellectual — mine is no brief for an avant garde or philosopher king — than with the existence, really, the nonexistence, of the public. Publics, as John Dewey argued, never simply exist; they are always created. Created out of groups of people who are made and mangled by the actions of other people. Capital acts upon labor, subjugating men and women at work, making them miserable at home. Those workers are not yet a public. But when someone says — someone writes — "Workers of the world, unite!," they become a public that is willing and able to act upon its shared situation. It is in the writing of such words, the naming of such names — "Workers of the world" or "We, the People," even "The Problem That Has No Name" — that a public is summoned into being. In the act of writing for a public, intellectuals create the public for which they write.

This is why the debate over jargon versus plain language is, in this context, misplaced. The underlying assumption of that debate is that the public is simply there, waiting to be addressed. The academic philosopher with his notorious inaccessibility — say, Adorno — obviously has no wish to address the public; the essayist with his demotic presence and proficiency — say, Hazlitt — obviously does. Yet both Adorno and Hazlitt spoke to audiences that did not exist but which they hoped would come into being.
academia  activism  public_amateur 
5 weeks ago
As Artificial Intelligence Advances, What Are its Religious Implications? | Religion & Politics
But beyond speculation, there are ethical questions that need answering now, says J. Nathan Matias, a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab. Matias is co-author of a forthcoming paper on the intersection of AI and religion. “AI systems are already being used today to determine who police are going to investigate,” he says. “They’re used today to do sting operations of people who are imagined as potential future domestic abusers or sexual predators. They’re being used to decide who is going to get [financial] credit or not, based upon anticipated future solvency.” Religious communities should participate in conversations regarding these dilemmas, he says, and should involve themselves in the application of the AI that exists today.
religion  AI 
6 weeks ago
2 × 4: Essay: Designer As Author
Designer as Translator, Performer, or Director. "If we really need to coin a phrase to describe an activity encompassing imaging, editing, narration, chronicling, performing, translating, organizing and directing, I'll conclude with a suggestion:

designer = designer."
design  theory 
7 weeks ago
Computing Machinery and Intelligence A.M. Turing
Turing's definitive paper. Note limitations and affordances; also Matthew mentioned the gender stuff at work even here.
history  AI 
9 weeks ago
RepairClinic.com
exhaustice listibg of appliances and most common ailments/fixes
low-tech 
12 weeks ago
My Favorite Interview Questions
great interview questions here, suitable for many contexts
hiring 
july 2017
Podcasts : Kids & Family : NPR
family friendly podcasts for travel
family  children  podcast 
april 2017
Experience and perceptions of ‘children’s research’ and the educational turn - un Magazine 7.1 - un Projects
Like ourselves children establish and test hypothesis and research to ‘know’ and explore ‘truths’. In this article I look at the multiple learning positions of spectators and participants in arts practices and expose new pedagogical approaches that build upon this positioning within an educational paradigm.
art  research  teaching  education 
april 2017
Media dis&dat: Nick Dupree
Nick also gained national social media attention when he and his partner decided it was safest to stay in their 12th floor apartment in lower Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy hit NY City in 2012. In addition to people on social media rallying to make sure Nick and his partner were safe, their experience brought national attention to the inadequacy of New York City's disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. NPR's Talk of the Nation devoted a show to the problem. New Mobility magazine wrote about the issue and featured Nick in a 2013 cover story. 
booklink  writing 
march 2017
Mary Beard · The Public Voice of Women · LRB 20 March 2014
Looking at modern traditions of oratory more generally, we also find that same single area of licence for women to talk publicly, in support of their own sectional interests, or to parade their victimhood. If you search out the women’s contributions included in those curious compendia, called ‘one hundred great speeches of history’ and the like, you’ll find that most of the female highlights from Emmeline Pankhurst to Hillary Clinton’s address to the UN conference on women in Beijing are about the lot of women.
feminism 
march 2017
building 4: creative fidelity - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
And this is what we have to do with all our labourers; to look for the thoughtful part of them, and get that out of them, whatever we lose for it, whatever faults and errors we are obliged to take with it. For the best that is in them cannot manifest itself, but in company with much error.
creativity  technology  ayjay 
february 2017
False Idols of the Enlightenment: Q&A with Pankaj Mishra | Ratik Asokan
We have to recognize that the modern world was predicated on the notion of mimicry and imitation. Which makes people more and more alike than different. And it makes them more vulnerable to experiencing the same ressentiment when their particular identities are under threat, when their stability is threatened, when their jobs are taken away.
There are certain pathologies that are common to all of these people: whether they are Indians uprooted from their rural areas to the cities; or middle Americans laid off by an opaque global capitalist economy they can’t understand. In both cases, they seek an easily identifiable enemy and find those closest to hand: immigrants, women, elite.
history  politics 
february 2017
The fragility of platforms
Simply, antifragility is defined as a convex response to a stressor or source of harm (for some range of variation), leading to a positive sensitivity to increase in volatility (or variability, stress, dispersion of outcomes, or uncertainty, what is grouped under the designation "disorder cluster").
twitter 
february 2017
growth and form
I also hinted at the moral, the theological, and the literary-imaginative uses of the immensely rich concept of form. In light of all this it’s worth noting that by general consent the most remarkable endeavor in the history of biological morphology is D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s massive and magisterial On Growth and Form — over 1100 pages in its second edition of 1942.
ayjay  form  design 
january 2017
Eurozine - Talent, intuition, creativity - Edith Ackermann, Urs Hirschberg On the limits of digital technologies
Both "situated" learning and "embodied" cognition emphasize the importance of being-in-the world, being in touch with things – literally touching things – as a lever to thinking. And no one puts it more eloquently than Francis Bacon in his famous quote: "Neither the bare hand nor the unaided intellect has much power; the work is done by tools and assistance, and the intellect needs them as much as the hand."[9] Giving the mind a hand suggests that much of the knowledge we have gained is knowledge-in-action: we think and act at the same time! Giving the hand a tool further suggests that the materials we explore, and the tools we use, are instrumental in helping expand and mediate our action in the world.
ackermann  writers  design 
january 2017
The 11.13.16 Issue - The New York Times
Letter responses about the hospital gown, companion to the six designers' challenges.
UOCD 
december 2016
Public In/Formation
As Zadie Smith puts it, librarianship embodies a “different kind of social reality… which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.” 14 Those values include access and accountability, a balance between openness and privacy, a commitment to preservation and security. 15 And because librarians uphold those noble values on shoestring budgets, without the mentorship of angel investors and tech accelerators, they tend to develop a healthy skepticism about technology, and even about their own fundamental ideals. They oppose the ruthlessly efficient, behaviorist, techno-liberal city, which prioritizes innovation-driven obsolescence, exclusive contracts, and monetization of user data. Librarians on the planning commission will be the ones to ask, why should procurement agreements favor platform providers rather than the citizens who contribute data? Archivists will ask about racial imbalances in data harvesting and push for anonymous and secure preservation of public records. Together, they can be stewards of equity, discretion, interoperability, resilience, and respect for the past — real wisdom, rather than proprietary “smarts.”
libraries 
november 2016
The way I see it: living with partial blindness | Life and style | The Guardian
In order for guide canes and symbol canes to be effective, they need to be understood. Somehow, some time ago, the people who came up with these valuable low-vision solutions only did half the job. They didn’t put the resources needed into raising public awareness and, as a result, the cane has become symbolically too blunt an instrument. via Julie Freeman
disability 
november 2016
Bruce Sterling: Notes on the 2016 US Election
This is the Pandora’s Box of twenty-first-century politics, these rumor politics of modern power players organized for disruption, wherein the lines of play are drawn far outside the twentieth century’s staid political parties and its Fourth Estate of journalism. And, since it helps campaigners to seize power fast and cheap, it’s bound to get more like this, rather than less. Silicon Valley would call this a disruptive hack, since it undercuts debates, ground games, TV ads, and other expensive, tedious campaign clutter. It’s not that it’s all entirely sinister; on the contrary, people really enjoy social media. They much prefer to get their news from grapevines of relatives, friends, and neighbors who think like they do. They even enjoy organizing to go troll the enemy’s commentary. But it destabilizes the stately process of democratic power struggle, in much the way that, say, digital finance disrupts heavy industry. Bursts of popular viral fever appear, but very little statecraft gets accomplished. Old institutions are corroded or abandoned, yet no new ones are built.
politics 
november 2016
Fellowships | National Endowment for the Humanities
Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. Projects may be at any stage of development.

Applicants interested in research projects that require digital expression and digital publication are encouraged to apply for NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication.
grants 
november 2016
Creative Writing Fellowships | NEA
New Creative Writing Fellowships in Prose will be available in mid-December.
grants 
november 2016
The 21 Documentaries from the 21st Century Everyone Should See | GQ
Here are our picks for the 21 best documentaries ever made—plus some recs from their directors.
film 
november 2016
Kathleen Fitzpatrick and "generous thinking"
This is not to say scholars should abandon critical thinking; far from it. But if Bruno Latour is correct in suggesting that critique has begun to run out of steam as a means of effecting change in the world, or if Rita Felski is correct in arguing that critique’s dominance has limited the kinds of work that scholars can do — well, then what? Latour asks whether we might instantiate a new mode of scholarly work grounded in concern and care; Felski hints at the possibilities for work stemming from a much broader array of affective states. Neither, however, digs into what might be required in order for scholars to do so, or what the resulting work might look like.
higher  ed  designfutures 
november 2016
One's Own Sword
Mary Midgley on cultural relativism
philosophy  culture 
october 2016
Darwinian Medicine for the University
Drawing on history, I argue that the structures of the university that enable
deep specialization are naturally and inherently resistant to change. What makes the
university strong is precisely what makes it weak. I spell out how institutions of higher
education can be designed to remain intellectually vibrant and structurally pliable even
though their constituent elements—deeply specialized scholars and discipline-based
departments—are doomed to ossify.
academia 
august 2016
The University of Chicago is made of safe spaces
What this all suggests is that questions of preserving academic freedom and academic diversity are more complicated than the University of Chicago’s rather self-congratulatory letter to incoming students would suggest. Lohmann’s fundamental point (and I really hope the book emerges, so that these ideas get the airing they deserve) is that successful universities – surely including the University of Chicago – are congeries of safe spaces that factions of scholars have carved out to protect themselves from their intellectual enemies.

In real life, academics only are able to exercise academic freedom because they have safe spaces that they can be free in.
academia 
august 2016
On Grief and Other Hard Things - Anne Galloway
Sedgwick’s proposed alternative–a “reparative” reading of the world–is “a more generous critical practice, a practice that is more about love than suspicion and that draws on rich phenomenological accounts of embodied experiences, feeling, and intimacy. This is about difference without opposition, differences that are expanded rather than policed or repressed or judged. She associates such a critical practice with the work of consolation and making whole, of love and political hope, an ethic of giving up authority to the otherness of the wholly other, a more ‘slip-slidy’ sort of effect than the confident mastery of the more typical paranoid model of critique” (p. 56).

But Sedgwick was well aware of what this would mean for researchers: “The vocabulary for articulating any reader’s reparative motive toward a text or a culture has long been so sappy, aestheticizing, defensive, anti-intellectual, or reactionary that it’s no wonder few critics are willing to describe their acquaintance with such motives” (1995/2002, p. 150). In other words, no ‘respectable’ researcher would say they work from a position of love! After all, one’s more “critical” colleagues are quick to point out they aren’t willing to overlook injustices or avoid passing judgment. Okay. But I don’t overlook injustices; and I’m not able to pass absolute judgment.
research  ethics 
august 2016
Finding the Line Between Safe Space and Segregation on Campus - The Atlantic
For McMillan Cottom, though, being safely uncomfortable in class is entirely different from being safely uncomfortable on campus. Which is why she pushes back at the notion that clubs, groups, and even housing geared toward a certain set of students, such as those of a certain race, amounts to resegregation.

Where most universities were designed around the needs and lives of white students, she said, and most white students can—and do—still avoid having uncomfortable conversations about race, black students “are never at a shortage” for uncomfortable racial conversations. In other words, white students can often elect not to engage in such conversations, where black students cannot escape them.
race  campus_diversity  education 
august 2016
Against Activism | The Baffler
"Yet organizing is what the left must cultivate to make its activism more durable and effective, to sustain and advance our causes when the galvanizing intensity of occupations or street protests subsides. It is what the left needs in order to roll back the conservative resurgence and cut down the plutocracy it enabled. That means founding political organizations, hashing out long-term strategies, cultivating leaders (of the accountable, not charismatic, variety), and figuring out how to support them financially. No doubt the thriving of activism in recent decades is a good thing, and activism is something we want more of. The problem, rather, is that the organizing that made earlier movements successful has failed to grow apace." via Instapaper http://ift.tt/21EgSJC
activism  politics  CDAE 
august 2016
Iron Fish / Cambodia public health
His invention, shaped like a fish, which is a symbol of luck in Cambodian culture, was designed to release iron at the right concentration to provide the nutrients that so many women and children in the country were lacking.
The recipe is simple, Dr Charles says.
"Boil up water or soup with the iron fish for at least 10 minutes.
"That enhances the iron which leaches from it.
"You can then take it out. Now add a little lemon juice which is important for the absorption of the iron."
If the iron fish is used every day in the correct way, Dr Charles says it should provide 75% of an adult's daily recommended intake of iron - and even more of a child's.
UOCD  health 
august 2016
Disabled Behind Bars | Center for American Progress
"In addition to facing disproportionate rates of incarceration, people with disabilities are also especially likely to be the victims of police violence. Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Kristiana Coignard, and Robert Ethan Saylor were all individuals with disabilities whose tragic stories of being killed at the hands of police officers garnered significant recent national media attention. They are but four high-profile examples of a widespread, commonplace occurrence. While data on police-involved killings are extremely limited, one study by the Ruderman Family Foundation estimates that people with disabilities comprise a staggering one-third to one-half of all individuals killed by law enforcement. According to an investigation by The Washington Post, one-quarter of the individuals shot to death by police officers in 2015 were people with mental health conditions. Countless more have suffered brutality and violent treatment at the hands of police, often stemming from misunderstandings related to mental health conditions and other disabilities. Furthermore, the number of individuals who have acquired disabilities while in police custody is unknown." via Instapaper http://ift.tt/2a0zzaG
august 2016
The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers - The New Yorker
"Despite every advancement, language remains the defining nexus of our humanity; it is where our knowledge and hope lie. It is the precondition of human tenderness, mightier than the sword but also infinitely more subtle and ultimately more urgent. Remember that writing things down makes them real; that it is nearly impossible to hate anyone whose story you know; and, most of all, that even in our post-postmodern era, writing has a moral purpose. With twenty-six shapes arranged in varying patterns, we can tell every story known to mankind, and make up all the new ones—indeed, we can do so in most of the world’s known tongues. If you can give language to experiences previously starved for it, you can make the world a better place." via Instapaper http://ift.tt/1NJCIaD
writing  students 
august 2016
Quiet Hands | Just Stimming...
"My hands know things the rest of me doesn’t. They type words, sentences, stories, worlds that I didn’t know I thought. They remember passwords and sequences I don’t even remember needing. They tell me what I think, what I know, what I remember. They don’t even always need a keyboard for that. My hands are an automatic feedback loop, touching and feeling simultaneously. I think I understand the whole world when I rub my fingertips together." via Instapaper http://ift.tt/1zFCxHi
autism  booklink  disability 
august 2016
Lives and limbs: how prosthetics transformed the art world | Art and design | The Guardian
So far, so conceptual. But, as The Body Extended makes clear, sculpture’s response to the broken bodies of 1914‑18 was often practical, too. In 1917 Francis Derwent Wood RA set up the Masks for Facial Disfigurement Department at the Third London General Hospital, Wandsworth. His clients were the thousands of servicemen who had been literally effaced as a result of the new, brutal way of doing war. Naively assuming that enemy machine gun fire could be dodged as easily as an old-fashioned rifle bullet or even a gun on a grouse moor, these amateur combatants had stuck their heads above the trenches to get a better look.
disability  exhibitions  abler 
july 2016
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